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Top Ten Tuesday: Covers with Gowns I Want to Wear

Hi there!

I skipped out on my Top Ten post last Tuesday because life got kind of busy and I kind of forgot about it! Oh well! It’s to be expected because the end of the school year is always a busy and exhausting time.  But I’m back this week! Yay!

For those of you who arent’ familiar with it, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Every week they post a theme and we create a list surrounding that theme. This week the theme is Favorite Book Covers of Books I’ve Read. I have such a hard time choosing on favorite covers because I like to many different types of covers for so many varied reasons.  So, instead of picking favorites, this week I’m choosing based on Book Covers with Gowns I Want to Wear.

Entwined by Heather Dixon1. Entwined by Heather Dixon

So gorgeous!!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

I love the breezy flow to this one. I do prefer the dress on the cover of Endlessly, but I haven’t read it yet so it doesn’t count.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen3. The Luxe series books by Anna Godberson

I’m sure it would be insanely heavy but just standing it in for an hour would make me happy.

The Selection by Kiera Cass4. The Selection by Kiera Cass

I do love this one’s fluff, but to be honest I prefer the one on the cover to The Elite…but I haven’t read that one yet.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger 5. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

WANT.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen6. Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

A slinky little one!

Vixen by Jillian Larkin7.  Vixen by Jillian Larkin

I must add that I completely disliked this book. But I can’t help but love that gown!!!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George8. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

I love the way it flows and it’s purely fairy tale style.

Matched by Allie Condie9. Matched by Ally Condie

It’s just so green and soft looking!

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Its Victorian!!!

Aren’t they all so beautiful?! I would love to wear them! There are TONS of other gorgeous gowns on book covers that I also love but I haven’t read them yet or else they’d be on this list. :)

Are there any dresses on book covers that you just wish you could wear? Which of these are your favorites?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I’d Like More Than I Did

Well hello there!

Welcome back to BookTasty for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! This weekly event is hosted by The Broke and Bookish and let’s us book lovers have some fun with bookish lists!

This week the theme has to do with expectations while reading. Sometimes I finish reading a book and am left surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This is always an awesome feeling! It’s like being delivered flowers at work! And then sometimes you think you’re really going to love a certain book and in the end you just weren’t impressed. Both happen to me, but today I’m focusing on the latter, books that I thought I’d like more than I did.

NOTE: I DO NOT HATE these books. I just didn’t enjoy them as much as I thought I would.

So here we go!

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

I thought surely I’d love this period piece…nope.

Drama by Raina TelgemeierDrama by Raina Telegemier

I wanted to LOVE this one so bad, but I only liked it.

Reached by Ally CondieReached by Ally Condie

I was left underwhelmed.

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor

Really enjoyed the first half then *BOOM* not so much the second part.

My Fair Godmother by Janette RallisonMy Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

So much potential, but I felt like it went too long.

Beastly by Alex FlinnBeastly by Alex Flinn

Was unimpressed with the characters.

Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My husband LOVED these books but I couldn’t get into them.

The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van DiepenVampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen

My students LOVE this book but it was “meh” to me.

Vixen by Jillian LarkinVixen by Jillian Larkin

I love the 1920s = I will love this book! Not exactly….

Tunnels by Roderick GordonTunnels by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams

I was kind of bored and wondering when it’d end. Which is sad because I’d heard good things.

So there you have it! I went into reading all ten of these books hoping and wanting to LOVE them, but in the end I was disappointed. Have you read any of these titles? If so, how’d you feel about them? What books did you want to love but just couldn’t?

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She Blinded Me with Science: Reached by Allie Condie

Hello!

Sometimes I read a book, and a few months go by before I realize that I forgot to review it. So here we are with a review for Reached by Ally Condie, which I read in December!

Reached by Ally CondieCassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter. The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. Cassia, Ky, and Xander return to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long…the power to choose.

Okay. I really, really had great hopes for this book, the final in the Matched trilogy. I loved the first book, and was hoping the third book would make up for a lack-luster second book.  Unfortunately, I was kinda disappointed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Reached and this series as a whole, but that’s because Condie did such an amazing job with Matched. The final two books just didn’t match up. I love the main characters, especially Cassia and enjoyed seeing how things turned out for them, but I just wasn’t in love with this book.

First, I had a hard time with the multiple narrators. I’ve read books with multiple narrators that didn’t trip me up, but I found myself getting majorly confused about who was narrating at times. I say this even though the names were on the top of the page! I kept having to look up to find out who was speaking. But, I will say that I did enjoy reading Xander’s side of the story, which was pretty interesting! And there was a new character who I think was a great addition to the story!

Second, the science behind the plague and it’s cure was a little too much for me. I felt a little bored and lost when the characters were discussing the reasons for the mutation and all that. It just seemed to me that all of this explanation was too much and instead of adding to the story in a positive way, the story was bogged down under the weight of it. Actually, I would say, she blinded me with science!

One thing I did enjoy was seeing the way in which once a tiny ounce of freedom had been given people began to create with it. I’ve always loved Condie’s focus on creation (of art and culture) an intriguing part of this story and seeing the urge to create spread to so many more on a larger scale was very cool.

So, all in all, did I love Reached? No. Did I hate it? No. Was I a little disappointed with this series? Yes. Reached and the Matched trilogy was still an interesting read, but it just didn’t resonate me the way others did.  I would, however, still recommend it to high school readers and up who enjoy dystopian fiction.

Author: Ally Condie

Publisher: Dutton (November 13, 2012)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 512 pages

Series: third book in the Matched trilogy

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:  Reached (Matched Trilogy Book 3)

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Book Trailer of the Week: Reached

Hello!

Here at BookTasty I have a deep appreciation for book trailers.  So, every week (almost) I post a Book Trailer of the Week to spread the word about a book trailer that has recently caught my eye.

This week’s book trailer is for Ally Condie’s Reached, the final book in the Matched trilogy.

The first two books in this series make it one of my favorites and Reached has me very excited (I am reading it while I’m on vacation, actually!). I’ve always loved the whole glass bubble theme on all the covers and it’s significance, which makes me love all the Reached by Ally Condiecracking glass bubbles in the trailer!

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

I appreciate a good, short and to-the-point trailer which is another reason why I like this one so much-it’s the perfect length for the morning announcements. I’ll be using it at school as soon as possible!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: November New Releases

Happy Tuesday to everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Every week they post a theme and book bloggers all over the interwebs (!) create lists to go with that particular theme.

It’s the end of October which means that November is here. (Yay for my birthday month and first trip to Europe month!!!)  With a new month comes lots of new books. So, I’m going my own way this week and skipping the official Top Ten Tuesday theme by highlighting some upcoming releases for November!

Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani TurnerDays of Blood and Starlight by Lani Taylor (Nov. 6)

Divide and Conquer by Carrie RyanDivide and Conquer (Infinity Ring #2) by Carrie Ryan (Nov. 6)

If We Survive by Andrew KlavanIf We Survive by Andrew Klavan (Nov. 6)

Reached by Ally CondieReached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie (Nov. 13)

The Third Wheel by Jeff KinneyThe Third Wheel (Wimpy Kid #5) by Jeff Kinney (Nov. 13)

Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren BjorkmanMiss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman (Nov. 13)

Under the Bridge by Michael HarmonUnder the Bridge by Michael Harmon (Nov. 13)

Witch World by Christopher PikeWitch World by Christopher Pike (Nov. 13)

Sacred by Elana K ArnoldSacred by Elana K. Arnold (Nov. 13)

The Lucky Ones by Anna GodbersenThe Lucky Ones (Bright Young Things #3) by Anna Godbersen (Nov. 27)

So there you have it!  A whole bunch of November New Releases!  Are there any that you just can’t wait for?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Ponder the Deeper Things in Life

Welly howdy!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and Bookish.  Every week they post a list theme for book bloggers to participate in.

This week’s theme is Books That Made You Think. So, I have a list of books that made me ponder the deeper things in life. Now, I will say that I tend to prefer books on the lighter sides because I don’t like books that make me cry!  I’m such a crier in normal life that when I read books I like happyish endings.  But, I have read some books that fit this category.  So, here they are! (Sorry no pictures this week my internet at home is down so I’m posting at work and the connection is slllooow…) 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This book is centered around bullying and teenage suicide. Working with teens, especially those labeled ”at-risk” made this book so meaningful to me. It is an intense read, but is also worth the emotional rollercoaster ride.  If you haven’t read it, you should.

2. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Park weaves together two stories of African youth affected by difficult times.  One is the story of a boy trying to survive in the face of civil war in his homeland, while the other tells of a young girl who has the responsibility of providing water for her family every day. Civil war? Poverty? The reality of life in a third world country? This one definitely made me think.

3. The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Such an amazing true story of a German teen in the 1930s/1940s who grows to reject Hitler’s teachings and eventually takes a stand against them.  It was interesting to get the perspective of one who had originally been a member of the Hitler Youth because you rarely get to see that point of view.

4. May B by Caroline Starr Rose

A novel in verse about a girl living on the prairie struggling to survive a harsh winter.  The book also deals with dyslexia and made me, as an educator, wonder how students with disabilities fared in school during past eras. It must have been isolating, and confusing to not understand why everyone else was “getting it” while you were having trouble.

5.In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

 about a girl who does nothing to counteract the false rumors that a boy from school raped her, is so incredibly thought-provoking.  It made me think of lies, even those of omission, and the effects and consequences they can have in our lives.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Herandani6. The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

This debut middle grades novel deals mainly with the idea of identity. The main character, Sonia,  is of both Jewish-American and Indian heritage and is struggling to figure out where she fits in her new school and in life altogether.  Sonia is also dealing with an out of work father who is struggling with depression and goes missing. I’d never read a middle grades novel displaying a parent with depression before. 

7. The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Peterson

More civil war and ethnic killing…The Day of the Pelican tells the story of a young girl and her Muslim Albanian family trying to survive in the middle of the Kosovo War.  Talk about a perspective adjustment for those of us who have never experienced war on our own soil.

8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I loved this YA sci-fi story filled with themes of genetics and ethics. It had the “whoa thats cool!” factor but also made you realize that meddling in genetics has major ethical consequences.

9. Matched by Ally Condie

The dystopian world Condie creates has immense restrictions on creativity. The governmentMatched by Ally Condie has deleted all but a hundred songs, a hundred paintings, a hundred books etc… from the world’s memory.  People are not allowed to create new songs or books or paintings either.  With these type of restrictions the ability to create anything (words for example) gives power.  As the wife of a musician I can’t even imagine a world without creativity!

10. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this one before (it’s not YA or MG though) but this book blew my mind when I read it in my senior AP Lit class eleven years ago! I had never read anything like it in my life.  Chalk full of a dystopian society run by religion that puts restrictions on everything including sex and child-bearing.  Talk about making me think!

So there you have it- books that really made me think! What are some books that made you ponder the deeper things in life?

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Waiting On Wednesday (2): Reached

Happy Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight the books we just can’t wait for!

Let’s talk about a book I’m waiting for – Reached by Ally Comdie. Reached is the pretty highly anticipated third novel
In the Matched series and it is set to release In November this year (2012).

20120411-072354.jpgNovember?! That’s soo far away! Can I wait that long? I guess I’ll have to!

Check out the summary for Reached below:

Cassia faces the ultimate choices in the long-anticipated conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Matched Trilogy

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

Now to be honest, I adored the first book Matched, but did think the second book, Crossed, was a little too slow. Even though, I’m super excited to get my hands on a copy of book number three! I have to know that happens with Cassia and Ky and The Rising!

If your on a YA dystopian kick and you haves read the Matched series you should totally check it out! I promise that after you do, you’ll be waiting on Reached just like I am!

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Waiting On Wednesday (1): Palace of Stone

Well hello there!
Wonderful Wednesday and well wishes to you all!
Okay I’ll stop with the alliteration before it gets really bad!

Today I’m trying out a new meme, I’ve been thinking of adding this one for a while, but today is finally the day I got around to it. Waiting on Wednesday is a book blogging meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to feature books that we’re being good little readers and waiting patiently for.

The first book  I highlight has to be one that’s near to my heart right?  Right!  This is one of the first middle grade books I read (as an adult)  that got me loving middle grades fiction!  Seriously, these characters and this story has a very, very special place in my heart. When I read it I talked about it to all of my friends.  Actually it’s the sequel to that book. The book was Princess Academy and a few months ago author Shannon Hale announced she was working on a sequel!

Hale recently announced the name of this Princess Academy sequel, Palace of Stone!  The scheduled release date is August 21, 2012 and I can’t wait to catch up with Miri and her friends.  I have to wait all summer for this goodness?!

Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she should help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends’ ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city. Picking up where Princess Academy left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.

Title: Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2)

Author: Shannon Hale

Expected Publication: August 21, 2012

What bookish treats are you being a good little reader and waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Am Eagerly Awaiting in 2012

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome 2012!

Its a brand new year and with it come brand new books! There are of course, tons of Young Adult and Middle Grades fiction coming out this year, but there are some titles that I’m extremely excited about! Today’s Top Ten list is full of YA and MG fiction that I am eagerly awaiting! All are currently set for publication at some point during 2012.

Insurgent by Veronica RothInsurgent by Veronica Roth (May 1, 2012) I love this cover; the tree is gorgeous! YA

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (November 1, 2012) Official cover not yet revealed I keep hearing rumors that this is getting pushed back to 2013. Can someone please clear me up on this one? YA

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon HaleMidnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale (January 31, 2012) Not YA/MG, but one of my favorite MG authors!

Princess Academy by Shannon HalePrincess Academy 2 (untitled) by Shannon Hale (2012) The above cover is for the first book as new book’s cover not yet revealed. MG

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (May 8, 2012) Official cover not yet revealed. YA

Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard (August 30, 2012) YA/MG

Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreBitterblue by Kristin Cashore (May 1, 2012) YA/MG

Endlessly by Kiersten WhiteEndlessly by Kiersten White (May 1, 2012) YA/MG

Out of Sight Out of Time by Ally CarterOut of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter (March 13, 2012) YA/MG

Matched 3 by Ally CondieMatched #3 (untitled) by Ally Condie (November 13, 2012) MY BIRTHDAY!!! YA

What titles are you trying hard to wait patiently for this year?

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Freedom In Creation: Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

If I haven’t already mentioned this let me do it now.

I absolutely adore YA dystopian fiction!  I am so amazed at all the different creative takes on what our world could potentially look like a few hundred years in the future.  If you haven’t read any YA dystopian stuff, you really need to.  Now.  Do it.

Matched by Ally CondieOkay, so back to Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie.  I decided to review book together because I read (listened to the audiobook) one right after the other. And why not?!

One thing I noticed right off the bat is Condie’s attention to the importance of words.  Poetry plays a major role throughout the two books, tying characters together and moving the plot along, and Condie’s writing style itself is incredibly poetic.  I found myself quickly wrapped up in the beauty of Condie’s words and wished I had a print copy so I could go back and re read specific quotes.

Every dystopian novel needs its unique hook.  The Hunger Games (the games), Divergent (the factions), Uglies (the major cosmetic surgery), etc…  The hook in the Matched series is that everyone’s perfect mate is selected for you by the society.  Such an interesting backdrop.  Imagine your society watching you and recording you data since the day you were born in order to determine your job, and most importantly who you will spend the rest of your life with.  This made me cringe right off the bat!  But the society knows best right?

What I found interesting about Cassia, the heroine, is that she is your normal everyday trusting girl.  Up until her Matching ceremony she has absolutely no reason to distrust The Society.  Up until this point her life has been pretty good, she gets the highest marks in school, her parents are prominent members in the community, and she has good friends.  It took me a while to recognize this about Cassia.  At times in the beginning I would question her actions and trust, but once I asked myself, “Why wouldn’t she trust?!” I completely understood her character and agreed that I would probably behave the same way she does.

Additionally, Condie has created a super intriguing backdrop for the story to take place.  The Society is clean and streamlined.  Nothing is unnecessary.  Nothing causes distraction.  At some point before the story begins The Society has downsized culture into easily manageable chunks.  They choose the 100 songs, 100 poems, 100 paintings etc… under the idea that one cannot fully appreciate good culture when there is so much extra or bad culture distracting you from it. All that didn’t make the cut has been destroyed and lost forever. So interesting and sad all at the same time.Crossed by Ally Condie

Condie hints at this a bit in Matched, but it is more strongly illustrated in Crossed—the idea that creation equals freedom.  Because of this streamlined culture, no one can create anything new under The Society’s watch.  No new music, poems, books etc… So, when one character teaches another to write its their form of rebellion, which leads to experiencing a sense of freedom. Our ability to create points to our freedom!  Without that ability to create the citizens of The Society are oppressed without even realizing it!  Very cool idea.

Also, secrets are prominent in this series.  Cassia starts to learn that every person she knows has their own secrets, including those she thought she knew best. Cassia begins to realize that one’s secrets are another form of rebellion against The Society; which gives her a sense of power.

There is a love triangle, and its a very well done one.  Although she feels pulled in both directions (and rightfully so) Cassia recognizes that both boys represent a different path in her life and she chooses her path pretty quickly.  I’ve read some other reviews on current YA fiction and people seem to be harping on the whole love triangle thing.  I don’t have a problem with it!  I love the existence of romance in the books I read and a well done a love triangle is fun as long as it’s not Legends of the Fall-ish (Wow I’ve really been harping on that movie a lot recently…strong feelings much!?).  Hooray for love triangles!

I will say that I do prefer Matched to its sequel Crossed, as I feel like Crossed could be pretty slow at times.  However, I recommend both titles and I am eagerly awaiting the third book, which is scheduled to be released in November 2012 (according to Condie’s website).  So, if you’re into dystopian fiction, the Matched series is definitely one to read.  I’d say these books are best for older middle grade readers and up, based on attention span (there isn’t a whole lot of “action” going on); I do not think it will appeal to younger middle grade readers based on that fact alone.

Author: Ally Condie

Publisher: Matched: Speak (Penguin), November 30, 2010

                    Crossed: Penguin Audio; Unabridged, November 1, 2011

Format: Matched: Library Bound Hardcover

                  Crossed: Audiobook

Length: Matched: 366 pages

                 Crossed: 9 hrs and 50 mins

Series: Books 1 and 2 in a trilogy

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Matched Crossed (Matched)